Salary Story: I Switched Industries & Now Earn 75k

Illustrated by Jordan Barton.
In our series Salary Stories, women with long-term career experience open up about the most intimate details of their jobs: compensation. It’s an honest look at how real people navigate the complicated world of negotiating, raises, promotions and job loss, with the hope it will give young women more insight into how to advocate for themselves — and maybe take a few risks along the way.
Been in the workforce for at least five years and interested in contributing your salary story? Submit your information here. Published stories receive £100.
Age: 35
Location: London
Current industry and job title: New business and marketing director
Current salary: £60,000 + £15,000 bonus
Number of years employed since school or university: 12
Starting salary: £17,000 in 2008
Biggest salary jump: £50,000 to £75,000 (including a £15,000 bonus) in 2020
Biggest salary drop: £31,000 to £27,000 in 2012 
Biggest negotiation regret: I let a failed negotiation impact my confidence. 
I had worked at an agency for three years and had delivered above and beyond my targets and KPIs for the duration. I had been promised a promotion to head of marketing by the CEO if I delivered a particular marketing objective but once that had happened and I asked for a meeting to discuss said promotion, a new senior member of staff (who had been at the company for a few months) decided I wasn't capable enough. 
The CEO was no longer involved in the conversations, despite being my line manager, and instead I had to negotiate with the financial director and this new member of staff. Rather than provide guidance or accept my proposal of new targets to prove that I was ready, they simply said no and began hiring for the promised role. 
It completely knocked my confidence. I stopped negotiating and I felt constantly paranoid at work, so much so that I left a few months later, accepting a new job that was totally wrong for me and just exacerbated my negative emotional state.
Thankfully, two years later I am now a director at an ad agency I love. Having managed to scrape my confidence back to a decent level, I am excited about my future once again. I have also discovered that the person who denied my promotion did so for personal reasons – she has told many ex-colleagues that she didn't like me or the fact I didn't have a traditional marketing background. 
Importantly, the whole process reminded me that I have value and I get a say in who gets to benefit from it.
Best salary advice: Do your research when you go into negotiations. Don't pick a number you think is right – it could be too low. Instead go in with multiple reports, job descriptions, even jobs you have been approached about and use that to justify your salary request matched to your current responsibilities. 
Also, always remember when they challenge that it costs employers a lot more to replace a good member of the team.

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